From [HERE] A white Dallas police officer was indicted on a murder charge on Friday for shooting an unarmed, 26-year-old African-American accountant who was watching TV in his apartment, a home that the officer says she mistook as her own.
A Dallas County grand jury charged Amber R. Guyger, 30, over the Sept. 6 killing of Botham Jean in his apartment, which was one floor above hers. If convicted, Ms. Guyger could receive five years to life in prison.
Ms. Guyger, a white officer who was returning from her shift but dressed in uniform at the time, said that she mistook Mr. Jean’s apartment for her own, that his door was slightly ajar and that it opened when she tried to unlock it. She thought he was a burglar, she said.
Lawyers for Mr. Jean’s family have said that the door was closed, and that neighbors heard someone banging on the door, demanding to be let in, before the gun was fired. Ms. Guyger fired her service weapon twice, striking Mr. Jean once in the torso, according to court documents. Mr. Jean, who worked at PricewaterhouseCoopers, died at a hospital.
“I’m not surprised that there was an indictment returned, due to what I perceived to be a tremendous amount of outside political pressure, a tremendous outpouring of vindictive emotion towards my client, and actual emotion that I believe was injected into the grand jury process,” Mr. Rogers said in an interview.
Mr. Rogers said Ms. Guyger was not guilty because she believed that she was inside her apartment that night.
“I believe it was reasonable for her to believe that she was being threatened with an intruder in her home and therefore she acted in self-defense,” he said. “The law justifies her actions.”
Chief U. Reneé Hall of the Dallas Police Department fired Ms. Guyger after her arrest in Mr. Jean’s killing and an internal investigation. The department said that she was “terminated for her actions” during her arrest on manslaughter charges.
“We cannot have this culture where we shoot first and ask questions later,” said Daryl K. Washington, a lawyer for the Jean family, after the indictment was announced.
The Jean family has also filed a federal lawsuit against Ms. Guyger and the City of Dallas, saying that the off-duty officer used excessive force and violated Mr. Jean’s civil rights. Mr. Washington on Friday pointed to what he called “serious training issues” in Dallas, and said departments across the country needed to delve deeper into disproportionate use of force against African-Americans. [MORE]